In Memoriam: Professor Valentim Xavier Pintado (1925-2016)

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 18:00

Professor Valentim Xavier Pintado is a major figure in the development of Faculdade de Ciências Económicas e Empresariais (FCEE), today Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics (CATÓLICA-LISBON).

FCEE was officially born as an autonomous Faculty in September 1989, following an internalrestructuring of Universidade Católica Portuguesa. 

Professor Xavier Pintado was its first Dean (1989-1995), at the helm of the School for over five years. The initiatives that he promoted and embraced have become very successful and endured over time as key strengths of CATÓLICA-LISBON’s academic structure.

The undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Economics were already well established when he took over the deanship at the school. With his Christian and humanist vision, Professor Xavier Pintado always regarded undergraduate education as the most important academic project of the School, due to its role in shaping the values of future business and economic leaders. His tenure as Dean faced challenges to these undergraduate degrees as a result of regulatory changes in the Portuguese university system. He led successful responses to these challenges, leaving the strong and independent undergraduate degrees in Business and Economics as major parts of his legacy.

Professor Xavier Pintado always heard and supported colleagues, of any generation, that proposed new initiatives and projects for the school. These included the Master Specialization in Management (known as the Católica MBA), launched in September 1991 as part of a larger project (the Escola de Pós-Graduação, EPG) which also included executive education. The Católica MBA became a leading MBA in Portugal, eventually merged with the MBA of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, to form the nationally and internationally recognized Lisbon MBA.

Executive education has become a unique and prestigious project of CATÓLICA-LISBON. It was established in 1992 as an integrated project, during the tenure of Professor Xavier Pintado, who recognized the need to combine academic rigor with practical relevance for business executives. He was able to combine specificities of executive education with the rigorous academic culture of the school.

The current CATÓLICA-LISBON building was originally intended only for MBA and executive education, but Professor Xavier Pintado transformed it into the home of CATÓLICA-LISBON. To fund the construction of the building, he mobilized and inspired, invited the best to manage the project, and worked tirelessly with donors and alumni to obtain funding for the project. It was because of their trust in Professor Xavier Pintado that so many parties supported CATÓLICA-LISBON in a not-for-profit fundraising effort that achieved amazing success even by today’s standards.

His simplicity and humanity captivated all. He commands unanimous respect and admiration among people he worked with from all regions (Porto and Lisbon at the time), all generations (younger or more senior), and all backgrounds (economics or management; domestic or foreign).

He convinced many young scholars to join the School, so that they would "not disperse themselves", as he liked to say in Portuguese. That eventually created conditions for CATÓLICA-LISBON to become a full academic institution of teaching and research, while acknowledging the value of the contributions of all. CATÓLICA-LISBON is the result of his vision. He supported diverse people and important projects and strove to remove obstacles to their completion.

Professor Xavier Pintado is also a reputed economist and intellectual. He was Secretário de Estado for Trade 1969-1972, and also worked in EFTA and at the OECD. He is an author of one of the most important studies ever of the Portuguese economy, "Structure and Growth of the Portuguese Economy". More recently, in public discussions of the euro he warned of China, and when debating the efficiency of management, he inquired about their Ethics. His anecdotes about the evolution of the meaning of “Tratante” are unforgettable for those privileged to have listened to them. A careful reading of his writings show their modernity, always looking outside to the wider world. And always at the service of his transcendence in Christ.

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